Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vintage Stuff

I loved the vintage quilt Dawn has been sharing over at Collector With a Needle. It is called At the Square Variation. I had to try it, but to simplify the math just a little I made mine a 9" finished size. I really like this and would love to dig in and make a scrappy quilt of it right now, but it will just have to wait in line.

I also told Dawn about a vintage log cabin quilt I have that is quilted in the Baptist Fan pattern. I will share it here so she can see it. It is hard to see the quilting pattern on the front. I could only get one photo of the back that seemed to show the pattern.
If you click to enlarge this you can see the quilting pattern better.
If you look closely at the edge you can see this has
been bound by wrapping the backing around to the front.
There are no conversation prints in this, but there are shirtings, double pinks, mourning prints, and other interesting period prints.

This quilt hangs over my loft bannister, along with a few other vintage textiles. I had thought I would collect old quilts to decorate my home, but decided that they were usually out of my price range. After that first quilt I bought this 1930's quilt top in the Dresden Plate pattern.
This wasn't a constant search for antique quilts (though I love to seek them out in antique stores just for inspiration) but when I happened upon something I liked, if I could afford it, I would purchase it. I bought these hand-stitched Carpenter's Wheel blocks on the internet. They sat for years before I bordered them with coping strips and set them on point in this top.

Finally, I bought a very scrappy and very old Trip Around the World from the internet. Some of the fabrics were very delicate, but that was okay because I was just going to hang it over the bannister. The problem was that the original maker had not been precise. The squares were not uniform in size and they had been stretched as they were sewn together to make them match up, which made the top ripple and bunch. I pondered this one a long time as to how I could remedy the problem. It would not hang nicely no matter how I folded it. Finally, in the words of Liz Broussard in Lynn Roddy Brown's Simple Strategies for Block-Swap Quilts, I "cut it into submission".  I made blocks out of the top, used a matching fabric for the sashing and leftover squares from the top became the cornerstone.

I still want to put a blue border around it, but haven't found the right shade to match the era of the other fabrics. Some will not be comfortable with such a drastic action taken against a vintage textile, but as Gyleen X. Fitzgerald says in Quilts: Unfinished Stories With New Endings, "not everything old is rare or valuable." This top now hangs proudly from my bannister, rather than sitting in a box in a dark closet somewhere.
 On another note, spring has finally come to Northern Utah. Usually by June the iris and lilacs have long since bloomed and faded. Right now these bouquets from my yard are filling my home with lovely spring fragrance. Snow on Memorial Day and lilacs in June--global warming hasn't hit our area yet.
Some of my favorite iris--River Hawk, Sostenique,
Edith Wolford, with a few others.
Click to enlarge so you can see the striped lilac.
'Til next time, from the little mountain valley where lilacs bloom in June,
Janet O.

P.S. Just wanted to let people know to hop on over to Subee Sews Quilts for a chance to win Bonnie Hunter's book, Adventures with Leaders and Enders. I've blogged about it before and it was actually this purchase that got me into the world of blogging. The giveaway is in celebration of the 200th follower on Subee's blog. Congrats Subee, and good luck to the rest of you!


  1. The quilts look so pretty on your banister!! I'd love to own a vintage log cabin quilt.

    We have iris and lilacs blooming too.

  2. Oh, I do miss the lilacs!!! My grandparents home in Northern Colorado had lilac bushes in the front yard, but alas too hot here!
    Absolutely love the log cabin quilt!!! I'll soon post some of my vintage treasures! Blessings

  3. I like the at the square block and may have to try one. The log cabin quilt is beautiful, love the colors. Thanks for sharing all your vintage quilt and how you display them.
    Your iris and lilacs are gorgeous.

  4. Your irises are gorgeous - the purple and yellow being my favorite. I agree with your cutting the quilt into submission...It serves as a sample of not stretching and finished is better than in a box any day!

  5. Thrilled to see your quilts! The log cabin is beautiful and the first I've seen quilted with the fan. Wonderful array of farbics too. You banister display is just like a gallery!
    Wonderful flowers too.
    You appear to be surrounded by inspiration!

  6. Thanks for sharing these old beauties! I wish I had a bannister like you have. Love how it looks decorated with quilts and tops. Good solution to the trip around the world top. Gyleen is a fun speaker and I have that book, but haven't read it yet. I think she covered most of it in her lecture and I do remember her saying that. I agree. Love your results!

  7. Just looked at the Dawn's blog and then came back at looked again at the square variation block. Neat quilt block - I may have to put it on my WDL (Wanna Do List)!!!


  8. I cover my butt and call it "climate change". It spans both ends of the spectrum.
    Those quilts are awesome! Around here, they're so expensive-the word has gotten out that vintage quilts are something to cherish.

  9. Love the logcabin, one of my favorite patterns. Do you have a photo of the Trip -- before you recycled it? It would be great to show.
    Sandra in Moab where summer has arrived with a vengeance. Looks like you are in Aggie land (my sister lives there).
    Come see my antique quilts:

  10. I would like to have a vintage log cabin quilt. I have seen very few of them in antique shops. And I am no longer purchasing antique quilts so guess I will have to sew a reproduction version.


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